Do not let my respected reader exclatm against this unselfishness as unnatural. Thack, Van. Fair, I, Ch. XXIII, 239.
II. Some varieties of hortative sentences bear a close resemblance to sentences indicating a moral obligation, or expediency, which are normally expressed by means of should or ought.
Thus such phrases as be it known, be it understood, etc, might be paraphrased not only by let it be known, let it be understood, etc, but also by it should be known, tt should be understood, etc. Thus also the ordinary translation of the literary, though common, Dutch phrases Men bedenke, De lezer vergete niet, enz., would be It should be remembered, The reader should not forget, etc.
In this connexion we also call attention to the ordinary English equivalent of Dutch hortative sentences with gelieve, as exhibited by the following quotations:
i The kind reader will please to remember that this history has 'Vanity Fair" for its subject. Thack., V a n. F a I r, I, Ch. VIII, 83. Intending subscribers will please to note the following termson which the Graphic will be posted to any part of the world. Grap h.
ii Our reader must now please to qtdt the woods and sea-shore of the West ... and transport himself with Art hu r Pendennis, on theAlacrity coach, to London. Thack, Pend, 1, Ch. XXVIII, 296.
III. Hortative sentences, i. e. sentences which have the form of hort. sent., are often used as substitutes for conditional clauses.
a) To-morrow night, please the gods, we will have then a snug carousal. Lytton, Pomp, II, Ch. II, 41o.
Well, if he be not dead, | Why wail ye for him thus? ye seem a child. | And be he dead, I count you fora fooi. Ten, Ger. and En, 548.
But enter a Frenchman or two, and a transformation effected itself immediateiy. Du Maurier, T r 11 b y, I, II, 122. T.
b) concessive clauses. We may distinguish:
1) Such as are equivalent to those which open with (at)though. If thou tak'st more | Or less than a just pound, — be't but so much | As makes it light or heavy in the substance | Orthe division of the twentieth part | Of one poor scruple.., | Thou dlest. Shak, M e r c h. o f V e n, IV, 1, 319.
Come death, come anguish, come a whole life of sorrow, as the end of this love, wouldst thou yet repent that thou hast loved ? Lytton, RI e n z i, II, Ch. II, 85.
2) Such as contain the adverb ever or never and have the function of concessive clauses with however. Thus Home is home, be it ever so homely is practically equivalent to Home is home, however homely it is (be or may be). Compare 46.